Why you should be recycling your old IT equipment with Green Machine Computers

For the last eight years Green Machine Computers has been working hard to help, not only our planet, but also numerous organisations in the area.

We recycle tonnes of IT WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) each month, diverting it away from landfill. The equipment is repurposed, which  in turn provides apprenticeships, training and employment.

Much of resulting equipment is then either donated or sold at preferential rates to local charities and organisations. The proceeds are also recycled – ploughed back into the business to help fund further training opportunities.

WEEE waste

WEEE Waste is a huge environmental problem. It is also the fastest growing waste stream.

In 2014, the world disposed of around 20 million tonnes of electronic waste in a year.  In 2018, this had risen to 50 million tonnes.

In the current throwaway society in which we live, many of us replace mobile phones annually, and laptops and other IT equipment every other year.

Currently only 12.5% of this WEEE waste is recycled. This means over 40 million tonnes ends up in landfill annually, with all the pollution, the loss of scarce materials and the waste of value which that entails.

Recycling WEEE waste

A lot of what is labelled as WEEE waste is not ‘waste’ at all, but whole pieces of electronic equipment, or parts which are readily marketable for reuse. It also includes IT equipment which can easily repaired or recycled for materials recovery.

Wasted energy and resources

We are helping the environment.

Incredibly, making one new desktop computer and monitor uses over 240kgs of fossil fuel, 21kgs of chemicals (including rare non-renewable elements) and 1.5 tonnes of fresh water. This equates to just one household computer consuming resources equivalent in weight to a family car.

So, every device which Green Machine Computers refurbishes and passes on for reuse, or recycles, saves the environment a huge amount of energy, materials and pollution.

Space and Money

We are helping local businesses and homeowners.

If IT equipment fails or genuinely becomes obsolete for our purposes, we’re a bit undecided what to do with it. It’s often heavy and bulky and increasingly people are aware of the problems of chucking it in the bin (assuming the bin is big enough).

There’s also the problem of the data. If the old kit falls into the wrong hands, even if you think you’ve deleted all the files these can often be extracted by skilled and unscrupulous people.

Faced with this quandary, many of us simply keep them. It’s impossible to estimate how many drawers, shelves, cupboards, spaces under desks and sometimes entire rooms are full of old IT equipment. They’re clogging up your life- and work-spaces. Meanwhile, local schools and charities that badly need this kit if it can be re-purposed are forced to spend money on the open market.

Green Machine can help solve all these problems.

Supporting People

We also help people.

Green Machine Computers redistributes much of the IT equipment that it collects by either donating it to charities or local organisations, or by selling it on at preferential rates and using the proceeds to fund in-house apprenticeships, training and education.

Many of our volunteers and employees approach us directly, or are referred through local schools, colleges or charities providing work experienceor career transition programs. Many of our staff have faced challenges and are often in need of extra support to be able to return to mainstream work.  To enable this we put them through apprenticeships in business administration, office management and computer technician roles.

How we help people and the planet – and you

We aim to collect as much unwanted IT equipment as possible from businesses and organisations across the UK, refurbishing it for reuse, adding years to its usability and lifecycle, and recycling reusable materials. We focus on repairing laptops, desktop computers and servers, training people to fix this equipment and enabling them to get qualifications by doing so.

What we also do is ensure that your data is securely wiped, meaning that there’s no risk of the recycled kit later telling any tales. We take this very seriously and have the accreditation to back this claim up.

Social Integration and Impact on the community

  • We regularly host volunteers, some of whom are accompanied by their carers for a day, building up to week-long visits or longer in order to get back to regular working, or just to experience work in an office environment.
  • We offer work placements for ex-military personnel through the MOD-sponsored Careers Transition Program.
  • We support local schools by donating stationery from large office clearances.
  • We recycle paper that we get from broken printers and donate or use it in our office.
  • We help local charities with donations of laptops and other IT equipment.
  • We offer the cost-saving alternative of refurbished computers to small businesses and charities, saving them hundreds of pounds compared with buying new equipment.
  • We assist the local clubs with technical support and IT equipment where necessary.
  • We donate time to charities when they hold volunteer days.
  • We offer work experience to students from local schools.
  • We offer apprenticeships and work placements for people of all ages: so far our youngest has been 16 and oldest 48.
  • We make monetary donations to charities as and when we can (42 donations from January to October 2019).

Help us to help you

What we need from you:

Any surplus or redundant IT equipment you may have which is taking up valuable space in your offices, storerooms, classrooms, containers, cupboards and warehouses. Items we collect include computers, laptops, servers, monitors (screens), tablets, mobile phones, printers, scanners, cables, keyboards, mice, desktop phones, network switches, routers, games consoles and cameras.

Contact Green Machine

Call us on 01672 520 133 or email to arrange a collection, or alternatively drop it into us at 6 Whittonditch Works, Ramsbury, Wiltshire, SN8 2XB.

All the IT equipment we collect is audited, data wiped, repaired and refurbished to a high standard.

We hold certification with the Environment Agency and Microsoft, and we have accreditation with ISO 9001 Quality Management and ISO 14001 Environmental Services.


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